The Economist and InnoCentive announce a winner in the 21st Century Cyber-Schools Challenge

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New York, NY – September 8, 2010 – The Economist and InnoCentive, Inc. today announced the winner of their joint 21st Century Cyber-Schools Challenge. Dr. Andrew Deonarine, a second year medical resident in the Public Health and Preventative Medicine program at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and a junior fellow at St. John’s College, will be awarded $10,000 and will present his winning plan at The Economist’s Ideas Economy: Human Potential Event on September 15-16. The Challenge, which prompted the opening of over 1,200 project rooms and received over 100 submissions on the InnoCentive website, asked participants to address the problem of providing educational opportunities to the tens of millions of school-age students in developing nations around the world.

Dr. Deonarine’s EduCell plan is a cellular phone-based educational system that has content creation, distribution, and delivery capabilities. It provides a platform for basic literacy through “phonecasting.” EduCell can run on a variety of electronic devices, such as cellular phones, PDAs, embedded devices, and computers. With very few maintenance requirements, EduCell can be used to educate large segments of a given population with minimal infrastructure, finances, and manpower.

“The issue of education across geographical boundaries is critical in this era of globalization,” said Dwayne Spradlin, CEO of InnoCentive. “This solution offers a unique opportunity for educators to address the challenges of preparing students to participate in a global economy – regardless of where they live. We are delighted that our partnership with The Economist has helped bring this solution forward.”

“The goal of the Ideas Economy series is to bring people together to discuss and debate some of the most important issues of our time,” said Justin Hendrix, Executive Director of Brand Communications, Events & Media Development for The Economist. “Global education and how it will be tackled over the next century is certainly one of those issues. Through this Challenge and our partnership with InnoCentive, we’ve been able to attract a large number of innovation solvers who have provided some truly intriguing ideas about the future of education worldwide.”

The winner was chosen by The Economist-InnoCentive Challenge advisory board which included Tom Standage, Digital Editor for The Economist; Rosemarie Ward, New York Correspondent for The Economist; Michael Horn, Co-founder and Executive Director of Education of the Innosight Institute; and Joel Klein, Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education.

About The Economist (

Edited in London since 1843, The Economist is a weekly international news and business publication offering clear reporting, commentary and analysis on world politics, business, finance, science, technology, culture, society, media and the arts. The Economist has a North American circulation of 813,000, a global circulation of more than 1.4 million and 4 million monthly unique visitors at The Economist online. Because of its international editorial perspective, it is read by more of the world’s political and business leaders than any other magazine.

About the Ideas Economy Event Series

The Ideas Economy event series brings together journalists from The Economist with top thinkers from around the world to discuss and debate the most important ideas of our time; Innovation, Intelligent Infrastructure, Human Potential, and other issues. The inaugural event, “Innovation: Fresh thinking for the ideas economy,” was held in Berkeley, Calif. on March 23 and 24, 2010 and the latest event, “Ideas Economy: Human Potential,” will be held on September 15 and 16, 2010.

About InnoCentive, Inc.

Since 2001, InnoCentive has helped corporate, government, and non-profit organizations to better innovate through an open innovation methodology and comprehensive approach we call Challenge-driven innovation. InnoCentive’s innovation platform includes access to the InnoCentive Solver Network of over 200,000 engineers, scientists, inventors, business professionals, and research organizations in more than 200 countries and InnoCentive@Work – A Software as a Service platform that allows organizations to more effectively tap into the knowledge and expertise within their business networks to solve their most pressing problems InnoCentive ONRAMP and Consulting Services ensure rapid and successful startup, and a sustainable Innovation program.

For more information contact:
Amy Jaick
Communications Manager, The Economist

Connie French
InnoCentive Marketing Director

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Wazoku is an innovation SaaS business that helps some of the world’s biggest organizations to innovate at scale. Whether it’s making the most of your employee's ideas, identifying new partners to collaborate with, or exploring the boundless potential of open innovation – or all three! – Wazoku makes innovation happen.